Saturday, 8 January 2011

Beside the Sea (1): Mermaid's Purse and Crab

Happy New Year, 2011!

Mermaid's Purse on the beach at Oxwich Bay
We stumbled across this curious object on our way back to the car this afternoon, after an hour or so photographing Oystercatchers at the edge of the water. We thought it might be a Mermaid's Purse, but the only ones I have ever seen have been black. I am grateful to the Seashore site for helping us to make an identification. How amazing to think that a metre-long member of the Shark family could emerge from this small sac (once fully grown, of course!). I wonder if we should have popped it back into the sea? We felt - in our ignorance - that it was best not to interfere.  

A Shore Crab of some kind ... I think
Edible Crab? ... the one with the crimping!

Oxwich Bay, Gower, near Swansea, Wales, UK
  • Jewellery in the shape of Mermaids' Purses (thanks to Google!)

6 comments:

leavesnbloom said...

I know so little about sea side nature Caroline. I'd never even heard of a mermaids purse before - it looks so beautiful and so fragile.

Your beach scene looks beautiful is that the one that was covered in snow a few weeks ago? I'm missing colour! I have not seen the green grass in our garden since the last week in November and in the last 24 hours we've had about 4-5 inches of snow.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what wonderful photos, Caroline! The Mermaid's Purse is amazing! I've never seen one like that before...

Cyren said...

Oh my gosh! There's still a baby in the mermaid's purse! Amazing!!!

Andrea said...

Those are very unusual creatures, at least to me. But when you say it is a shark's egg, i should have put it back to sea if i were you. But those crabs are really different in morphology! Thanks.

Caroline Gill said...

I guess, Andrea, that you are right - though at the time we didn't know what it was. I had a hunch, but wasn't entirely sure ... I enjoyed looking it up when I got home, and will feel more 'prepared' next time.

Mary said...

wow...fascinating! I've never heard of a mermaids purse before. I hope it was OK there. Wonderful finds all of these. What a great plce to live and visit.